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Lonhro, one of the modern-day greats of the Australian turf, is now a record-breaking sire.

A poster boy for the Darley stallion roster, Lonhro sired his 156th individual winner for the Australian racing season on Thursday.

When his three-year-old daughter Cilla’s Choice won at Geelong, the victory took Lonhro beyond the previous record held jointly by Darley stalwart Commands and Black Caviar’s sire Bel Esprit.

Commands, an influential stallion who died on Saturday, played a role in the record as the sire of Cilla’s Choice’s dam Constanza.

After a decorated racing career that included 11 Group One wins, Lonhro became Australia’s champion stallion in 2010-2011.

He is the sire of six Group One winners.

“Going back to the Woodlands (Stud) purchase, Lonhro was a very significant part of that package,” Darley’s Henry Plumptre said during a preview of trainer John O’Shea’s major spring chances on Wednesday.

“Thirty-nine per cent of that Woodlands bloodstock package was attached to Lonhro in some shape or form.

“At the time Sheikh Mohammed made the decision to buy the company, Lonhro had not had a significant winner at all but it proved to be a leap of faith.”

Plumptre said stable hopes were high in the new racing season for Sarajevo, a rising three-year-old by Lonhro.

“He is a colt we are very excited about,” he said.

Sarajevo impressed winning at his only start as a two-year-old and O’Shea will set him for the Caulfield Guineas.

 
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